The Stories I Tell That Someone New
Hello, I'm Sophie Heawood, does my column need a title? If John Doran is MENK then I could be MILF. Or maybe MILF TEETH. I don't want motherhood to define me.
MILF TEETH #8: THE STORIES I TELL THAT SOMEONE NEW
When you meet someone new, it is important to offload all of your stories and good facts onto them.
So I tell him – the someone new – about my friend who tried to kill herself with an overdose, and the next day her mum came to the hospital and shouted at her about how she could be so fucking selﬁsh as to end a life when there are people in the world with real problems. And how my friend croaked that she hadn’t really wanted to die, it was just a cry for help. And her mum went “Cry for help? What’s wrong with this – ‘HEELLP!’” And how we still laugh about it, me and this friend. How we sometimes lie there in my room and go "HEELLP!" and how we once ran drunkenly down the street shouting "HEELLP, HEELLP, HEELLP!" into passing cars’ headlights and nearly getting killed.
I tell him that I used to be a lesbian. And let me tell you, coming out as gay in this day and age is not very embarrassing. What’s really embarrassing is coming in again. That bit where you go to your mum and you go, "So, mum, guess what, turns out you were right, it WAS just a phase I was going through."
I tell him that when I stopped being a lesbian I got a boyfriend for two years, but that Dan eventually turned out to be gay. We stayed friends. Some years later, I borrowed his spare phone handset for a month. He said I couldn’t wipe his numbers off it though, so every time I looked for one of my friends I had to scroll through Ben Hackney, Vikram Pimlico, Gaz Oval, etc, because these were all the shags he met through Gaydar, listed by where they lived. And how I liked to imagine Dan’s cock wiggling around London on a neverending game of Mornington Crescent.
I tell him I used to be the doorgirl at a club with a bouncer who had just gotten back from Iraq, where he’d served in the Parachute Regiment. When he was 19, they’d told him that you only get to Valhalla if you die with a sword in your hand, and he had believed it, and now he was out of the army he felt so stupid to think it was true. "In the Paras," he said, "they say to you, 'What are you here for?' You’re here to kill people to kill people to kill people, they drum it into you again and again. In other regiments like the Royal Marines they might want your brains, but the Paras are there to cause chaos. On every mission you’re told you are going to die.
"Don’t maim – it is not professional to maim. Every soldier wants to come home with a confirmed kill – it’s like every popstar wants to come home with a confirmed number one," he said. "Because that’s your trade, and you’d be really disappointed if you didn’t get to fulfil it. Your kill is your number one."
I tell him that whiskey is quite slimming if you drink it so often that you lose interest in meals.
I tell him that the psychological term "hedonic adaptationÆ, refers to how things that thrill us tend to be short-lived. And how we are actually supposed to stop fancying each other when we’ve been married for a long time. Evolutionary biologists say that when your spouse becomes as familiar to you as a sibling – when you’ve become family – you stop fancying each other. It’s something humans evolved, to avoid incest.
I tell him about the time I accidentally ended up topless on Page 3 of the Sunday Sport, because there was a demo in Trafalgar Square in aid of the striking Liverpool Dockers, and when some idiots threw bottles at the police horses I thought I’d better distract everyone by running in front of a wall of riot police with my tits out. A photographer sold the picture to the Sunday Sport, who put it on Page 3. (That day’s nipple count, which was always written on the front cover, was 77. Somebody was missing one, it has troubled me ever since.) The best bit was that they headlined my piece “DOCKERS: KNOCKERS”.
I tell him about my friend whose parents both went mad and had to be injected regularly to keep them sane, and how going round to their house was interesting because the mum’s madness made her smaller but the dad’s madness made him bigger. The mum drank her shaky tea and shrank, knowing they were bankrupt, but the dad kept applying for more credit cards and buying more things he saw advertised on the telly. Things that grew ever bigger in size. First it was the weighlifting dumbells. Then a food processor. Later, an enormous pair of hi-ﬁ speakers for mobile DJs to play at weddings – these were too big even to ﬁt in around the stereo in the living room and had to be kept in the garage. Then he bought a Japanese car.
I tell him that my childhood was similarly tough. Because our chauffeur was a vegetarian.
He says, this may come as some surprise to you, but I was quite an emotional child. I used to cry in secret on Sunday evenings. Something to do with watching Narnia, drinking adults’ tea with sugar and being lulled into liking it, but also feeling as sad as if I had agreed to die, because it was school tomorrow and I would have to go to bed and there would never be vitality or fun in life, ever again. He says, autumns were the worst for this. Bonfire smell, cold air but not winter cold – more like worn-out summer air. And the dark blue light. And school tomorrow.
The same way on some Sundays, you'd have friends round and you'd slightly try and keep the dream alive, and then reality would rush all over the Sunday night guilt telly screen in a horrible way! And Christmas Day night is the king of Sunday evenings. He says he really used to feel suicidal on Christmas Day night. And then Boxing Day is like uber-Sunday. In fact, Christmas's purpose is to break his heart, but he still loves Christmas, though.
But something is apparently like a corridor of time split into sections. Every section is a Boxing Day. The corridor is short as we don't have many Boxing Days before death, comparatively speaking. There are no walls between the sections, the Boxing Day sections, and ahead of us at the end of the corridor is death. From Boxing Day you can kind of see the end. It’s basically the world's most severe bummer.
So yeah, fuck Boxing Day.
Follow Sophie on Twitter: @heawood
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